HSBC Review: Traditional Banking Options With a Global Reach

GOBankingRates Score

4.6
Our take: HSBC is best for anyone looking for a traditional banking experience with a global reach. The company operates in more than 60 countries and territories worldwide, including the U.S. 
  • Locations
    5.0
  • Range of Services
    5.0
  • Mobile App/Digital Experience
    4.0
  • Customer Service
    4.5
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Global currency accounts
  • Generous cash bonus promotions
  • Full-featured mobile app

Cons

  • U.S. branches concentrated on the West and East coasts

About HSBC

HSBC, short for Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, got its start in Hong Kong in 1865 as a way to facilitate and finance trade between Europe and Asia. In 1980, it purchased a controlling interest in Marine Midland Bank, which was based in Buffalo, New York, and later acquired the rest.

Today, HSBC Bank USA offers traditional, in-person banking as well as online banking for personal, corporate and business needs. GOBankingRates has ranked HSBC as one of the Best Regional Banks of 2021.

HSBC Products

HSBC’s extensive account and financial services are available for customers nationwide and internationally. Here’s an overview of what’s available.

Sponsors of
Type Key Details
Checking Accounts
  • Two basic checking account options
  • Two interest-bearing checking accounts with access to preferred mortgage interest rates
  • Global Money account for managing multiple currencies
Savings Accounts
  • Three savings accounts available
  • Up to 0.15% APY
CDs
  • Terms range from six months to two years
  • 0.30% to 0.40% APY
Individual Retirement Accounts
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
Investment Options
  • Mutual funds
  • Fixed-income investment products
  • Structured products
  • Equities and exchange-traded funds
  • Annuities
Loans
  • Personal loans and lines of credit
  • Mortgages
  • Home equity line of credit

HSBC Checking Accounts

HSBC offers five different types of checking accounts: Basic Banking, Choice Checking, HSBC Advance, HSBC Premier and Global Money. Most monthly maintenance fees can be waived when you maintain a minimum amount of money in your account. The exception is Basic Banking, which charges $1 per month. Customers can avoid fees by meeting one of the following requirements:

  • Choice: $1,500 minimum balance or at least one qualifying direct deposit per month to waive the $15 fee
  • Advance: $5,000 combined balance or at least one qualifying direct deposit per month to waive the $25 fee
  • Premier: Combined balance of $75,000 or at least $5,000 in direct deposits per month to waive the $50 fee
Sponsors of

Features

  • HSBC Premier account with access to preferred mortgage rates and HSBC Premier Savings account
  • HSBC Advance account with access to preferred mortgage rates and global transfers
  • Banking in multiple currencies through a mobile-only Global Money account

Pros

  • Option for overdraft protection on all checking accounts
  • 0.01% annual percentage yield with Advance or Premier checking account
  • Worldwide ATM network and customer support

Cons

  • Only two interest-bearing accounts — HSBC Premier and HSBC Advance
  • Waiving monthly maintenance fee requires high account balance or recurring deposits
  • Basic Banking’s $1 monthly fee not waivable 

HSBC Savings Accounts

HSBC offers Premier and Advance savings accounts as well as an HSBC Everyday Savings account. All earn interest, and you can open an account online or at an HSBC branch. You’ll need to have or open a matching Premier or Advance checking account. 

Features

  • 0.01%, 0.05% or 0.15% APY, depending on your savings account type
  • Can connect HSBC Advance to any checking account, even if it’s not an HSBC checking account
  • HSBC Everyday Savings has automatic savings feature for recurring deposits
  • No monthly maintenance fee or minimum balance for Everyday Savings
Sponsors of

Pros

  • Tiered HSBC Premier rates that increase as balance grows
  • Optional automatic savings plan to schedule recurring funds transfers to your account 

Cons

  • Low APY rates compared to online savings accounts with other banks

HSBC CD Accounts

Certificates of deposit are a good way to earn extra savings by growing your money with higher APY rates. You can choose your CD term and interest rate when opening a CD at HSBC. Don’t forget to compare rates by checking the best CD rates available now.

Features

  • Terms from six months to two years
  • APYs as high as 0.30% for six months, 0.40% for 12 months and 0.40% for 24 months

Pros

  • Option to automatically renew CD or transfer the funds into a different CD
  • Interest compounded daily

Cons

  • Minimum of $1,000 to open a CD
  • Comparatively low APY rates

Banking Experience

HSBC has plenty of banking options and financial services available for all your life stages, but how is the overall banking experience? Consider the following factors.

Customer Service

You’ll have access to branches nationwide and globally. Although U.S. branches are concentrated on either coast of the country, HSBC makes up for it by offering service in several ways, including the following options: 

Sponsors of
  • Visit an HSBC branch using the online locator.
  • Call a customer service representative at 800-975-4722.
  • Tweet @HSBC_US.
  • Conduct business and chat with a customer service rep using your mobile app and online account.

Branch Availability

You’ll find over 300 branches in the following states:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Washington, D.C.

Mobile and Digital Experience

A typical HSBC customer review references the ease and functionality of the mobile banking app. It has the following ratings:

  • Google Play: 2.7 out of 5 stars
  • App Store: 4.5 out of 5 stars

The HSBC mobile banking app integrates with your smart device to unlock or log in to the app using a passcode or touch/fingerprint ID. There are plenty of features packed into the app, including the following:

  • Global and domestic money transfers
  • Bill pay
  • Mobile check deposit

Convenience

HSBC makes managing your money simple. Besides the variety of branches and ways to contact customer service, the website and mobile app are user-friendly and easy to navigate. In addition, HSBC ATMs do more than give you cash — you can change your account PIN, view statements, deposit cash and checks, transfer money and get cash advances from your debit or credit card.

Sponsors of

How To Open an HSBC Account

Opening an account with HSBC is easy — especially if you do so online. Choose the type of account you’re interested in and click on “Apply Now.” The process takes about 10 to 15 minutes if you have the following information ready to go:

  • Your name
  • Social Security number
  • Government-issued photo ID
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Employment information
  • Bank routing and account numbers to make an electronic funds transfer to your new HSBC account

Key Information

Customer service number: 800-975-4722

Routing number: 022000020

Promotions: See Newest HSBC Promos and Bonuses

Login: HSBC Login Help

HSBC Fees

There are a variety of fees you should keep an eye on when you bank with HSBC. They include:

  • Monthly maintenance: $1 to $50, depending on the account 
  • Overdraft: $0 to $35
  • Incoming wire transfer: $0 to $15 
  • Cashier’s check: $0 to $12 

As mentioned, checking accounts come with monthly maintenance fees. Except for Basic Banking accounts, the fees can be waived when you keep a minimum balance.

HSBC vs. Competitors

HSBC is uniquely positioned when measured against its competitors, especially for international banking services. Here’s how the bank’s fees and features compare with those of its competitors.

Sponsors of
Bank FEES
HSBC
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $1 to $50
  • Overdraft fee: $0 to $35
Citibank
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $10 to $35
  • Overdraft fee: $34
Chase
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $4.95 to $35
  • Overdraft fee: $34
Barclays
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None
  • Overdraft fee: $5

HSBC vs. Citibank

If access to U.S. branches and ATMs is important to you, Citibank’s wider network of domestic branches is best. Travelers who need international banking services while abroad would be better with HSBC over Citibank. 

HSBC vs. Chase

Both banks have plenty of financial services and account options. Chase offers over 4,700 branches in the U.S., making it a convenient choice if you don’t need international banking. Choose HSBC if banking while abroad and multicurrency support would be needed.

HSBC vs. Barclays

Barclays’ product lineup is limited to an online savings account and CDs within the U.S., but its savings APY of 0.40% is higher than the rates on HSBC’s savings accounts. For a full-service banking experience from an international bank, HSBC is the better choice. 

Final Take

HSBC has it all — banking, investments and loans with a domestic and international presence. The world is getting smaller, and HSBC is working on making banking in one or several countries possible. If you’re a frequent international traveler or have funds in more than one currency, HSBC can make managing your money easier. Best of all, you can open an account in minutes online.

Editor’s Favorite

The Global Money account, managed entirely from the robust smartphone app, may be HSBC’s standout feature. You’ll be able to manage your funds in multiple currencies in one place, and make transfers and payments seamlessly.

HSBC FAQ

Here's more on HSBC to help you decide on whether the bank is right for you.
  • What does HSBC stand for?
    • HSBC is short for Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.
  • Who is HSBC bank owned by?
    • HSBC is owned by the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, based in Hong Kong.
  • Does HSBC have branches in the U.S.?
    • HSBC has over 300 branches in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington and Washington, D.C. 
  • How long does it take for a check to clear at HSBC?
    • If you deposit a check at a branch or using the mobile app, the check will clear the same day as long as it was deposited by 10 p.m. Eastern time. Otherwise, the check will clear the next business day.
  • Does HSBC offer free money for signing up for an account?

Jared Nigro contributed to the reporting for this article.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Dec. 14, 2020.

This content is not provided by HSBC. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by HSBC.

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About the Author

Cynthia Paez Bowman is a personal finance writer with degrees from American University in international business and journalism. Besides writing about personal finance, she writes about real estate, interior design and architecture. Her work has been featured in MSN, Brex, Freshome, MyMove, Emirates’ Open Skies magazine and more.

HSBC Review: Traditional Banking Options With a Global Reach
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